About a decade ago, I was entrenched in a conversation with my Dear Friend and literary assistant. She was inquiring as to the nature and makeup (emotional and physical) of a certain girl in the life of a certain adult male child of mine. I summed it up thusly:
“Until I met her, I really did not believe in the existence of attention deficit syndrome.”
“Are you telling me,” Dear Friend intoned in a conspiratorial tone, “That she has a future as a lab rat?”
I’ve never forgotten that line! And since I am unable to use it in fiction, I figured it will work just fine for an essay on the State of the State of Lab Rats in my State.
During the spring of 2020, I was busily engaged in selecting carpeting and wood-planking for my Dream House that was miraculously still under construction. I drove without wearing a mask; I walked along the country roads without wearing a mask; I ate without wearing a mask. (See End Notes – Bat Out of Hell)
In short, I wore the mind-control device only when ordered to do so, in exactly 2 settings: upon entering a Financial Institution; upon entering the Managed-Care-Facility.
I didn’t have to deal with My Dentist. The State of California was busy trying to put him out of business. I’ll add here that during the almost two years of my not going To the Dentist, an unheard-of circumstance in my highly responsible adult life, I practiced extremely conscientious personal dental care. One summer-like day in early October, 2021, I boldly endured an hour of the plexi-glassed maskdom of the dental office. My hygienist marveled at the cleanliness of my teeth and the pink healthiness of my gums!
Yesterday, I had to pay a visit to The Financial Institution because my debit card got hacked into, yet again, not quite a month after I’d had to procure a New Card from the friendly masked-employee. (My goal for the New Year is to not use The Thing, the card, not the worthless wad of fabric.) I was, of course, not wearing a mask. After walking into this former Big-O Tires store, I saw, before me, a double-masked, gray-haired, decrepit Baby Boomer. She came at me with her dagger eyes.
It’s a good thing that she didn’t come at me physically because I would have forearmed her, purely in self-defense. She was, however, hard-wired into that stupidly contrived six-feet of social distancing. She thus was compelled to keep her “safe-distance” from germ-laden me. She continued to stare hostilely at me with a look of disgusted horror, and I continued to stare in stunned disbelief at her.
Before March of 2020, idiots in California were not identifiable by face-diapers. Now, there is no escape from that kind of verification. I’m not sure that I am better off for this additional piece of information about my fellow persons, courtesy of corruption and graft gone out-of-control. That old gray mare ain’t what she used to be, but I’d rather not know what she used to be, and what she presently is.
This eyeball-to-eyeball standoff was ended when this outraged fossil of a Boomer Brat was finally led away, and out the door by her silently forbearing and masked husband.
I did my banking business, and left the architectural re-tread. During my egress, I’d trampled over the worn-out plastic stick-on message-circle stuck onto the plastic flooring. That directive ordered Humanity to Social Distance at Least Six Feet. Approximately six unmasked people plowed through those front doors, collectively trampling over the stupid sticker for which we taxpayers all footed the bloviated bill.
I asked my unmasked Dear Husband how long this insanity is going to continue?
Here is where Dear Husband protects me from the world outside, and permits me to enjoy all of the wonderful creativity that is just waiting to pour forth from what he calls my beautiful brain. He shields me from the Official Stupidity, especially when I am on a Media Blackout. (And this one looks to be years in the making.)
Dear Hubby calmly explained, with a little chuckle, that, just before this Christmas, of 2021, the Mad Masker aka Governor Gruesome aka Governor Hairgel aka Governor Newscum aka many names I find profane but completely fitting and true:
Dumb-Gov wanted an indoor mask mandate. He declared one, but, as usual, he didn’t dare go near the imposition of anything legal or constitutional, medical, scientific, or moral. He wanted the California Lab Rats to go on the honor system!
For a guy with absolutely no honor to speak that word must have been farcical, but the California Citizenry have gotten used to the sick jokes that overlord us. We’re unlike the British Citizenry who are fuming about the Honours System having become like The Peanut Prize, aka The Nobel Prize. Or is it The Pulitzer? I wouldn’t know. It’s been decades since I paid any attention to those statuette and statuesque paybacks from bigwigs to pawns and shills, all of them political whores and gigolos.
The handlers and pollsters have assured the sovereign sewer rats (who think they rule us) that the moron masses are lab rats, senseless hamsters on the wheel of taxable life. We, the Masses, are not morons, and we’re not lab rats. We most assuredly are not mindless hamsters on the wheel of taxable life. We, the Taxed, do not overwhelmingly await the itty-bitty piece of cheese that awaits us once we are Officially Freed from our house-arrest.
There are, perhaps, some sick and sorry individuals who enjoy life, and work, in a cubicle. I, for one, do not. Personally, and professionally, I know very little from first-hand experience about living, or working, in a cubicle. I have instead clinically observed the actions of human beings, performing tasks as assigned — in Cubicle World. Somehow, (and I know the hand of God was in this miracle), I escaped enclosure by cubicle.
During that ghastly phase in Office World, when synthetic MAUVE walls were inexorably and oppressively becoming the norm (and providing Dilbert with tons of material about which to scribble), I’d positioned myself in a makeshift arrangement in the cavernous office room on Floor 6 of the Federal Building in Sacramento, California. (Yes, it’s a long sentence, but it packs a lot of situation into the punishing decree also called a “sentence”.)
My inventive work-pen was a four-foot-by-six-foot void between some (map) flat files and tall metal filing cabinets. (I none-too-secretly wanted to purchase a few of those oak flat files for linen storage in a future Dream-House!)
The most awesomely advantageous aspect to this labour-corral was the fact that no one could see me until he or she had actually advanced in the “alley” that led to my desk. My supervisor had initially situated that desk facing the end wall, a set-up that would have put my back to the entrance.
A horrifying sensation!
I therefore had the heavy-metal furniture turned 90 degrees, to butt up against the cubicle-wall installed at the back of the drafting table of Cost-Estimator-Friend, Jerry. (I immensely enjoyed the music wafting toward me from his radio.) From my perch behind the tall filing cabinets, I could hear the approach of any person long before he caught sight of me.
I even decorated one wall of this charming accommodation with travel posters (freebies from the local bank that is long since out of business):
The Kremlin (Moscow), Eiffel Tower (Paris), Sierra Nevada in Snow (Lake Tahoe).
The sizable posters were clearly visible from the elevator lobby, in a direct line, straight through that cavernous room that had become lab-rat mazed with cubicles. There were quite a few visitors to the Federal Building who, upon exiting the bank of elevators onto Floor Six, wanted to go see who it is that had decorated that wall with such fascinating pictures.
Before long, the Visit to the Posters began to annoy me, and intrude upon my sense of privacy, but I tried to be a good sport about it. At least some engineers were possessed of a sense of the aesthetic. I’d been told that there were visits to my technical-typing world while I was away from my duty station. I was also accused of “programming” the electric typewriter to continue to speed-type while I was away from the desk!
Just about the time that the entirety of this huge “bullpen” was cubicled, I moved across the hallway into a real live room. With large glass windows and plaster walls and much much more square footage! I’d somehow managed to progress from one non-partitioned workspace to the outer ring of office rooms that were rooms and were openly large.
I was in the seventh heaven until my supervisor got switched on me, or, I should say, an incompetent one was installed, much like a toilet at an army base that was not up to specs (specifications). A warm cozy spacious stockade in a palatial barn would not have reined in this mustang! I soon busted out of that stall.
We need more mustangs and broncin’ bucks in this world of broken broncs that broke themselves. The Boomer Hippies are now old, worn-out wastrels. They destroyed their health young, because they believed they’d be forever young, even though they were born old. Whenever these aging codgers enter a room, the scent, not of incense but of bitterness prevails. Do not permit their bitterness to sour your sweetness, your joy of life. This too shall pass, as they pass away.
And just one look at the human lab rats running around their maze, still masked and forever freaking out about invisible killers — that image ought to stay burned into the human brain — in order to prompt this automatic, ingrained lab-rat response to the next phoney, false, fraudulent, money-spinning stimulus from the Shysters in Office:
If They insist, just forearm Them. They can’t arrest All of Us!